24 Jun 2016 Project team appointed to drive forward Wellness & Life Science Village
Bjorn Rodde, Dr Sharon Burford and Steffan Jenkins.
The Llanelli Delta Lakes Wellness and Life Science Village, which is estimated to cost in excess of £100million, and is being delivered through the work of the Swansea Bay City Region and ARCH partnership, has a new project team.
Work has begun to detail what will be included at the site, elements which may be included are a wellness-based leisure centre, hydrotherapy pool, research facilities, a Health & Wellbeing Centre, hotel and conferencing and high spec business facilities and a Health and Wellbeing Academy.
The new team tasked with delivering the vision are all Carmarthenshire residents. Project manager Dr Sharon Burford, lives with her husband in Mynyddygarreg and works for Hywel Dda Health Board. Dr Burford will be supported by Steffan Jenkins, from Llangennech, and Bjorn Rodde, who lives in Llwynhendy.
Sharon, who was the management lead for the development of the new model of care in Prince Philip Hospital, said: “I feel the focus on improving health and wellbeing in this area has the potential to make a real difference.
“By working in partnership we now have the opportunity to bring together the right partners to help create the right environment for health innovation to flourish alongside private and public sector partners.
“We also want to challenge our view of healthcare by focusing on wellness and not on illness. This unique approach will allow us to take the lead in innovative thinking around improving wellness.”
Steffan, who was born a few miles from the Delta Lakes site in Pontiets, now lives in Llangennech with his wife and twin daughters. A qualified engineer, chartered surveyor and environmental manager, he has worked for Carmarthenshire Council for the past 12 years in its economic development division, on major projects such as the largest land reclamation project in the UK – the hugely successful Millennium Coastal Park.
Steffan said: “To be involved in this new venture is a fantastic opportunity and a challenge I am delighted to be a part of.
“It will be without doubt a truly transformational project for the area and for the people of Llanelli and the region. In fact, it will be a project of national significance, a once in a lifetime project which will without question benefit many generations to come.”
Bjorn, who lives in Llwynhendy with his wife and two daughters, worked for the past three years as a senior lecturer for Swansea University in the Medical School and the School of Management, and has also spent the last 18 months as a senior project manager on the ARCH programme.
Bjorn added: “The impact it will have on Llanelli is huge,” he said. “The best thing about this project is the joint ambition - no one is forcing us to do this; it is a fantastic vision and all the partners are fully on board with what we are trying to achieve.
“ARCH’s vision is to encourage collaboration to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of South West Wales, the Delta Lake project is an early indication of what can be achieved by working in partnership.”
What is a Wellness and Life Science Village?
This project is a first for the country and brings together health, science and enterprise to regenerate the area and also help people live healthier lives for longer.
The project concept was derived last year from work undertaken by under ARCH alongside Carmarthenshire Council. ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) is a partnership between Swansea University and ABMU and Hywel Dda health boards. By coming together the three organisations are aiming to transform the way healthcare is delivered in South West Wales. ARCH brings together the health service and innovation and research to find a new way of meeting the challenges the NHS faces.
The village could see lifestyle and leisure facilities, primary and community-based healthcare and specialist residential care integrated with university research and education space. There will also be business facilities to encourage economic growth.
A feasibility study, funded by the Welsh Government, is currently being carried out for the scheme at Delta Lakes. The site, adjacent to the coastline, has been chosen as the perfect place to deliver the project, which is expected to create 1,000 jobs.
Unique to Wales, the Wellness and Life Science Village was cited in the Swansea Bay City Region’s City Deal bid to the UK Government and noted in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spring Budget.